The flood of June 23, 2016, will be one to live on in infamy. So many people have stepped up and stepped in the bring life back to normal for those devastated by the flooding, but my little community of Caldwell, WV, has not had the magnitude of that outpouring of help.
Yes, we did have donations of clothes, food and cleaning supplies, and help from a few churches. Red Cross was there for one, mind you one, day to hand out prepaid cards, then they were gone. FEMA didn’t show up at all except to send an inspector to survey damages. Also, Star Furniture brought mattresses and beds, for which the community is very grateful. Samaritans Purse helped clean out houses, and in fact, we are grateful for all the help we have received.
I am also grateful that Rainelle is receiving FEMA trailers and that White Sulphur will have Hope Village, but who will help Caldwell? We are a small, unincorporated community, with no mayor or city council to advocate for us. We have not had visits from movie stars, athletes, or elected officials or offers to help us rebuild. We have just been left to walk around in our shell-shocked, frozen selves to try to find some semblance of a normal life. Most all of the debris that washed down Howards Creek landed in Caldwell: just walk the creek bank to the mouth of the river to see the evidence, but no offer of help from government agencies to fix the drainage and other problems that were left in this flood’s wake.
So, when all is exhausted, who will help Caldwell?